Never Have I Ever…Fostered a Rescue Dog

In 2017, I lost my heart dog. I rescued him in 2015 from a county shelter the day before he was slotted to be removed from the world. Though I only had two years with Beijing, he was the dog that would change everything for me. He was 110 lbs of pure heaven, and I’m still devastated that he is gone.

Pulling Beijing out of imminent danger shattered my heart and opened my eyes. After he passed away from a brutal and aggressive cancer, I decided to go once again into the fray. I’ve always loved giant dogs and even rescued my first Great Dane when I was 12. So, I decided to try fostering, and that’s when I found the Bullpen Way Station & Sanctuary.

The Bullpen is a woman-owned and run giant breed rescue that advocates for and saves the lives of thrown-away dogs in need. I started my fostering journey with them in 2017 and have since adopted three dogs from their program and have fostered more than a dozen sweet pups.

So, let’s talk about why fostering matters and what it looks like—the reality of it.

Local shelters are drowning in animals and rely on rescues and adopters to save as many lives as possible. Rescues desperately need foster homes to pull the dogs in most urgent need from danger.

Fostering opens a space in your home and heart for a needy dog (or cat) and gives them time and space to decompress. After a healthy acclimation period, foster animals benefit from learning to be in a family, home and safe space, helping them gain the manners, confidence and trust they need to succeed in a forever home.

In February, my family welcomed our newest foster pup, Buckshot. This sweet boy came to us with buckshot still in his pelvis from being shot and irreversible damage to his hips from being run over. He was thrown away broken and bloody, landed in a shelter with little hope, and the Bullpen was only able to pull him out because my family said, “We will take him!!”

Fostering is an INCREDIBLE gift to everyone involved to successfully shepherd a dog from shelter to safety to a family who will love them fully.

Things you need to know:
• Rescues set foster homes up for success.
• Foster animals often need months to acclimate; patience is non-negotiable.
• It is not hard to say goodbye when your foster pet is adopted. It may be tearful, but it is incredibly rewarding to see them off into a better future.
• Fostering saves lives.

To get started, find the rescue you want to work with and fill out their foster application. Once you are approved, they will work to match you with a good fit and coach you on next steps. Many local shelters also implement fostering programs to combat the overwhelming numbers of animals continuously being surrendered or found as strays.

If you can’t foster, consider volunteering or donating to help rescues continue to do their backbreaking work with success.

To follow Buckshot’s journey, check out the Bullpen on social media: Instagram: @theBullpenRescue Facebook: The Bullpen Way Station & Sanctuary